Finding Meaning in a Daily Routine
I didn’t even realize it was happening.
Every day, I had the same routine.
Get up, get ready for work, walk the dog, and grab breakfast on the way out the door.
Get to work, do work things, eat lunch, sit in traffic on the way home and be annoyed by said traffic.
Get home, walk the dog, watch TV, aimlessly scroll through social media, eat dinner, go to bed.
It’s so easy to fall into a rut. And not to mention I just wasn’t fulfilled. I work in corporate, and I don’t hate my job, but it certainly isn’t giving me “some greater meaning in life.” When I got home in the evenings, I was allowing myself to literally waste away watching Netflix.
I realized there was a problem as I was casually chatting with a co-worker of mine and she asked me what I liked to do outside of work. My response? “Well I just finished grad school…right now I mostly just watch Netflix.” She gave me an understanding nod, but as I was saying “I just watch Netflix” I became super disappointed in myself. I was so much more than going to work and watching Netflix. It was time to get my life together.
That sounded a lot easier than it was. That night I got home, while I was doing my usual facebook scrolling, I came across a post that said something like, “You need to have a hobby in your twenties, especially when you work a 9-5, it’s easy to lose your mind without it.” In browsing through the comments, I read comment after comment of 20somethings sharing the things that they did in their spare time because they genuinely enjoyed it.
Why didn’t I have that?
At that moment I knew God was sending me a message, and long ago I learned to move when God pushes me to. So it was time to get moving.
I started out by making a list of all of the things that I liked to do, which, unfortunately, took a lot more time and effort than I would like to admit. It had been a while since I even had the time to devote to a hobby.
Doing this signaled a change in my mindset. I became intentional about the things I allowed to occupy my time. I started saying “yes” to more things that I wanted to do, and “no” to more things that I didn’t want to do, despite the external pressures of expectation.
My hour-long commute turned into an hour-long conversation with God. Or some days, an hour-long conversation with my mother. My evenings turned into opportunities for me to get lost in a book for a few hours, take a walk with my husband, do puzzles, or research and learn about something that I found interesting. I was finally doing things that made me happy!
Initially, I thought I would feel like I was missing out on something by not keeping up with the latest TV shows, but I didn’t. A friend and I started reading books together and creating a little “book club.” I have found that the conversations you can have about books are more meaningful and more nuanced than conversations about reality TV.
Being mindful of the activities that I engage in has helped me to lead a more intentional and purposeful life. What are some actions that you can take towards mindfulness, intentionality, and purposeful living?
Share them in the comments section!
Jamillah Gilmore | DPW Guest Writer
Jamillah is a newlywed and dog mama passionate about building communities and sharing real stories, lifestyle tips and encouragement. She loves God, her family, reading and brunching.